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Pell City Texaco & BBQ

Stop for



Pell City


Some years ago, I began taking a rural route from my home to work assignments in Gadsden.  It saved me having to first go to Birmingham then drive on the interstate, which I prefer to avoid when I’m traveling locally.  Back roads are beautiful and relaxing, plus there’s always the intrigue of finding the unexpected.  That’s what happened to me when I passed through Pell City, even though it’s a decent sized place.

On my initial trip I noticed someone with a single smoker beside the Texaco gas station.  It wasn’t significant in that moment, but it did register because it was barbecue.  In subsequent trips I watched as the single smoker grew to a fleet or smokers, with some quite substantial in size.  Now they had my attention.  You don’t increase your output to that degree unless you’re doing something well.  My problem was I never passed through Pell City at a time that was convenient to eat.  Then one day I had the chance to make my own fortune, by hightailing from my meeting in Gadsden to a late lunch at Pell City Texaco and BBQ.

Doing so broke a self-imposed bias I had against food prepared at a gas station.  There was no incident behind or substance to my prejudice, it just didn’t feel right to me.  Fortunately, I’ve had some very convincing recommendations to gas station restaurants that were on point.  In fact, some of the best seafood I’ve ever had was at a gas station in Montgomery.  As for Pell City Texaco and BBQ, there were also some high-praise reviews online.  My curiosity finally convinced me to try it out.

Be aware, food is served out of the back corner of the store, where there isn’t much room.  There is one table with a few chairs but it’s at the end of an aisle next to the coolers.  If you want comfort and privacy, be prepared to get it to go.  I took mine to a small park less than a mile away.  Additionally, not all of the sides are made in-house.  For me that worked out because the potato salad I had was my favorite kind in the whole world!  The only other place I know that serves it is a sandwich shop in Birmingham.  I don’t even know who makes it but it’s sliced golden potatoes, slightly firm with the skins on, mixed in a creamy, ranchy style sauce with chives and bacon.  It is seriously addictive!  I could eat a whole bowl of it for a meal and not feel bad about it.  Somehow it doesn’t come off as heavy and it is delicious!

The pulled pork had a good flavor, was tender and moist.  It had a good chew, making it feel substantial and fun to eat.  The portion was huge so you won’t go away hungry and it’s served with your choice of Alabama’s most popular sauces.  They don’t have a house sauce, but they carry a huge selection of sauces from Alabama’s best known restaurants like Jim ‘N Nick’s, Full Moon, and Big Bob Gibson’s.  I went with Dreamland sauce because of its bold flavor, not thinking it was a thinner sauce and I’d have to use extra caution eating in the car.  Still, the combination was excellent and I didn’t make a mess.

My second side was my usual baked beans, which were in a tomato base that reminded me more of pork n beans.  They were meaty and rich and a good contrast to the cool potato salad.  The flavors of the entire meal hit all the right notes.  If you need a good meal on the go, don’t hesitate to try Pell City Texaco & BBQ.  It’s one gas station that isn’t just for snacks.

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